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Ionic liquids have been shown to be highly effective lubricants for a steel on aluminium system. This work shows that the chemistry of the anion and cation are critical in achieving maximum wear protection. The performance of the ILs containing a diphenylphosphate (DPP) anion all showed low wear, as did some of the tris(pentafluoroethyl)trifluorophosphate (FAP) and bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)amide (NTf2) anion containing ILs. However, in the case of the FAP and NTf2 based systems, a cation dependence was observed, with relatively poor wear resistance obtained in the case of an imidazolium FAP and two pyrrolidinium NTf2 salts, probably due to tribocorrosion caused by the fluorine reaction with the aluminium substrate. The systems exhibiting poor performance generally had a lower viscosity, which also impacts on their tribological properties. Those ILs that exhibited low wear were shown to have formed protective tribofilms on the aluminium alloy surface.
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Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
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